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1 January 2010 Stable-Carbon Isotope Time Series from Tropical Tree Rings Indicate a Precipitation Signal
Esther Fichtler, Gerhard Helle, Martin Worbes
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Although studies on stable-carbon isotopes in trees from temperate zones provide abundant paleoclimatic data, tropical trees are still understudied in this context. Therefore this study examined the variability of intra- and inter-annual stable-carbon isotopic pattern in several tree species from various tropical climates. The δ13C values of samples of 12 broadleaved trees (seven species) from various paleotropical and neotropical sites along a climatic moisture gradient were investigated. The inter-annual variability between species and sites was studied. Further the relationship between δ13C and precipitation time series was analyzed. Results show that tropical tree species show a similar variability in carbon isotopic composition as temperate tree species. Significant correlations between annual precipitation and tree-ring δ13C time series were negative. Successful crossdating of a tree-ring δ13C time series highlights the potential of carbon isotope measurements for tropical tree-ring analytical studies. Tropical broadleaved trees are able to capture a carbon isotopic signal in their annual rings even under everwet conditions and show good potential for paleoclimatic research.

Esther Fichtler, Gerhard Helle, and Martin Worbes "Stable-Carbon Isotope Time Series from Tropical Tree Rings Indicate a Precipitation Signal," Tree-Ring Research 66(1), 35-49, (1 January 2010).
Received: 3 December 2008; Accepted: 10 September 2009; Published: 1 January 2010
stable carbon isotopes
tree ring
tropical climate
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